photo courtesy of Justin Oliphant.
Fueled by a passion for visual storytelling, Matthew Ward has nearly 15 years of experience in pre-visualization and digital cinematography. His credits span numerous live action and animated feature films, including The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Titan A.E., The Matrix Trilogy, The Polar Express, Catwoman, Superman Returns, War of the Worlds, Monster House, Beowulf, Disney's A Christmas Carol and Mars Needs Moms, among others. Most recently, Ward has ventured in the video game industry with the talented team at BUNGIE, working as the Cinematic Lead/Director on their new IP, DESTINY.
Ward began his multifaceted career as an intern at the Academy Award® winning visual effects house, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Upon the completion of his internship at ILM, he returned to school to finish his degree, focusing on pre-visualization and cinematography. After graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design (1999), he was hired by George Lucas to begin pre-production filmwork on Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, an experience that would set the pace for the years to come.
Following Lucasfilm, Ward contributed to major projects for Warner Brothers and Paramount pictures and later became one of the first artists hired at Imagemovers Digital (IMD), a Walt Disney Pictures animation studio that grew to house more than 500 employees. During IMD’s run, he worked with famed Academy Award® winning director Robert Zemeckis on five digital features, supervising the pre-visualization and initial camera layout of all productions. Listed as inventor on two Walt Disney Pictures camera patents, Ward has strongly contributed to the design of new pipelines for pre-visualization and helped pave the way for modern virtual cinematography techniques used in such films as Zemeckis's Beowulf, Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, and James Cameron's Avatar.
A strong diversity of skills has given Ward the opportunity to take on numerous roles in filmmaking, including concept illustrations & designs, pre-visual animation & cinematography, art direction, and final character animation. His work, as an independent director and filmmaker, has been featured by several international film festivals. Beyond film, Ward has earned Addy nominations for two of his commercials, and directed music videos of major artists including Megan Slankard, Jeff Campbell, Glen Phillips, Toad the Wet Sprocket and the recent Billboard chart-topping band, CAKE.
Ward continues to work and consult with talented directors whose unique stories drive the medium of film to its limits. When not immersed in a major production, he enjoys directing and producing small creative projects that result in innovative, thought-provoking short films and music videos for diverse audiences.
Bio compiled in part by Priority PR for Rainmaker Entertainment, 2013.
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